In Depth

Instant opinion: silence on Kashmir sends ‘dangerous signal’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Friday 30 August


The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. David N Meyers in the Los Angeles Times

on Kashmir as a symbol of the rising threat of authoritarianism

Trump’s silence on Kashmir sends a dangerous signal to the world’s autocratic leaders

“The parallels between the Israeli-Palestinian situation and that of India and Kashmir are striking. Both are byproducts of attempted partitions after British imperial rule. Both Kashmir and the West Bank contain populations deemed hostile and undesirable by the ethnic purists in their respective countries. Both Modi and Netanyahu have shown themselves to be willing to resort to incendiary and threatening language against the Muslim populations in their midst. And both are abetted by the active support — or telling silence — of Trump. What would Trump do if Netanyahu went ahead with his periodic pledge to annex the West Bank and its nearly 3 million Palestinians? Would he and his fellow illiberals sit back and crow that this is the new way of the world?”

2. Carlos Eduardo Pina in Al Jazeera

on the continuing plight of Venezuela

Will Trump go after Maduro to win a re-election?

“If Trump succeeds in orchestrating the demise of Chavismo in Venezuela, this would be the most important "victory" of his presidency. If he fails, however, it will certainly go down in history as one of the greatest blunders of American foreign policy. No matter what happens, in the end, it will be the Venezuelan people bearing the brunt of Trump's foreign policy experiments. The sanctions have already devastated the country and made life extremely difficult, especially for the country's poor. A military intervention would certainly result in a major humanitarian catastrophe and unimaginable human loss.”

3. Frida Ghitis in CNN

on the real issue preventing action in the Amazon

Bolsonaro's ego stands in the way of saving the Amazon

“The nationalists' creed is centered on some version of MAGA, Trump's Make America Great Again slogan, which is at its heart a call to mistrust cooperation with other countries and to reject the prospect of sacrifices for a common good shared with other nations.

The environment, international cooperation? Those are for wimps. Nationalists flex their muscle and tell others to mind their own business. It's no coincidence that Bolsonaro, too, campaigned on a hypermasculine platform. The ubiquitous hand signal at his rallies was an extended index finger and thumb, an imaginary pistol, symbolizing his plan to put more guns in the hands of civilians. He praised Brazil's military dictatorships, attacked LGBT Brazilians and when he heard a congresswoman had called him a rapist, he said she was not attractive enough for him to rape.”

4. Remona Aly in The Guardian

on the religious imperative for Muslims to go green

With hajj under threat, it's time Muslims joined the climate movement

“With approximately 100m plastic bottles left behind each year after the pilgrimage ends, it’s clear that action is desperately needed. Slowly, Saudi authorities are beginning to implement a more environmentally friendly hajj by installing recycling points around the holy sites, and they aim to cut waste volumes by two-thirds by 2030. Pushing for change has been a struggle in the kingdom, but apathy is a wider problem. It’s bound up in socio-economic deprivation, and too often 'saving the planet' is seen as something for the rich, a kind of green elitism.”

5. Geeta Anand in the New York Times

on the struggle of accommodating an aging population

How not to grow old in America

“Now that I am back in the United States, I have been thinking about assisted living again. My dad passed away in 2017, after living with us for nine years, and my 83-year-old mother now lives in New York City with my sister. Would assisted living offer our mother better care and relieve the pressure on my sister, who works full time while raising a young daughter? Sadly, I’ve discovered the answer is no. The irony of assisted living is, it’s great if you don’t need too much assistance. If you don’t, the social life, the spalike facilities, the myriad activities and the extensive menus might make assisted living the right choice. But if you have trouble walking or using the bathroom, or have dementia and sometimes wander off, assisting living facilities aren’t the answer, no matter how desperately we wish they were.”


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